Sunday, May 31, 2015

Chance: Getting Older

Hiya it's me Chance the ageing Border Collie.  I am getting older.

I don't  chase the ball as long or as hard as I have done in summers past.   I am not fond of summer...being mostly black I absorb the heat and get hot.  I prefer to take my naps indoors in the bathroom on the tile floor where it is cool.  I also like to have the fan moving air gently when I lay on the couch.  I like ice cubes in my water dish.

Some days they call me limpy....then they usually say "Getting old sucks." I take special pills for my aching old joints.
I still go for daily walks to get the mail and I still chase squirrels and a big old black Raven that comes into the yard...oh and sometimes a early morning bunny rabbit.

I stay inside when Far Side mows "It is a rule."   I don't like the bells outside the door...if someone rings them I want inside "Right now."  I don't like windy days or thunder. So far this year I have had only one tick...that is a good thing.  I have had recent ear troubles but Far Side fixed me all up.
I might have some silvery gray hairs around my muzzle but since I have white hairs they don't show very much at all.

I am ten years and seven months old now. Far Side says "You are a senior dog now Chance...she would know."


Saturday, May 30, 2015

One Day At A Time

Far Guy's blood test came back and he will NOT have an allergic reaction to the infusion.  We are waiting for a Nurse to call us to set up a time and day to begin.  The weekly infusions SHOULD halt the destruction of his lungs.

Right now we are taking things one day at a time..putting one foot in front of the other.

We have both been a tad cranky.  I suggested that who ever was the most cranky should cook supper.  He said "Okay beautiful."

I will probably be cooking for awhile.

Our Lilac that always blooms later than all the others. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lilacs and Stuff

The fragrance of lilacs fills the air.  Especially in areas where there are many lilacs.  It is a overwhelming fragrance.  Far Guy  said "I am so glad we have one small struggling to have two blooms lilac bush in our yard."

These are from the white house with the blue shutters, they never get to see the lilacs bloom.
It was a busy week.  Windows Live Writer is still incompatible with blogger...Google changed a setting on Tuesday and they won't change it I am stuck with regular blogger blog software and that sucks.

I mowed lawn again yesterday, we got another 1 1/2 inches of rain that Far Guy dumped out of the rain gauge.

I worked on "stuff" upstairs.  Far Guy worked on the old tiller and a push lawn mower and I sold them both locally online.

One day we went to the Clinic because Far Guy needed another blood test before he begins his infusions...we are waiting on the results...there is a 33% chance that he will be allergic to the infusion and we need to know that before proceeding.  He has two support people now one from Alpha 1 and another from Baxter ( the infusion).  I cannot keep them all straight.  Far Guy visited with his Uncle Archie who related that many of Grandma Tracie's siblings had "lung troubles."  I will be tested for Alpha 1 Deficiency in June.
 We got news this week that a dear old friend died.  Mary Lou was 87 years old...we met her back in 1975.  She and her husband Ray had a lake cottage just down the road...they were good neighbors here just for the summers after they retired from the hardware business in Prairie City Iowa. She would often walk over and bring something baked for coffee.  When Trica got married in 1994 Ray and Mary Lou helped roast turkeys and peeled fifty pounds of potatoes for me to make potato salad for the wedding dinner. Ray could fix just about anything and carried a tool box in his Cadillac...payment was always a cup of coffee!   We visited with Mary Lou just two years ago before Alzheimers took her away. (Her husband Ray died a number of years ago.)  She leaves behind four daughters and three grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren.

I am not sure about the "comes in threes" old saying...but this is the third death in as many weeks. I hope we are done for awhile .

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Flower bloomers not pantie type bloomers.   Do you remember when your Grandmother called panties bloomers?
 The Trillium are blooming as is the Large-Flowered Bellwort (the yellow flower).

At the edge of the yard the Thorn-apple or Hawthorn is blooming.

Can you see the thorns? I give this shrub a little more space than normal when I mow.

I have mowed twice since the rains began.  We are out of the drought.  We are thankful for the rain we have received.  Twice as much rain as normal for the month.  We have six inches so far this month and three would be normal.

If it isn't one thing it is another.  Windows Live Writer is not working and that is the software I use to write my blog.  It is a Google/Blogger problem, they updated an API ..or some such thing and locked us all out.  They are supposed to be fixing it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: Graduation

Back in 1969 I graduated from High School.  I was anxious to be done with school.

There were no try outs for the choir.  I am tone deaf yet they let me sing with the choir on Graduation Day.  I am just about in the center of the photo.  Just down and to the right of the very tall to be crooked lawyer in the back row.  I can name everyone in the front row…but I won’t.

From the left Jim (he is married to my cousin), Cathie (My best high school friend), Clyde, me, Hilda ( my cousin) and Pam…her last name started with Z.  Needless to say we were the last to get our diplomas.

Those blue/grey caps and gowns were worn by everyone.  You had to go down to the Civil Defense Shelter in the underground tunnel and find one that fit…they wanted them to be  close to the same length on everyone.  Then you had to take them home and press them. 

As I remember the speakers were long winded…didn’t they realize that their advice was going in one ear and out the other?

The Class Flower was a turquoise carnation and the class motto was “The path you make is the road you take.” ( How stupid is that?) The class colors were turquoise and silver.

That would be me in front of the picture tree at the farm.  I am certain Far Guy will notice his 1959 Desoto Station Wagon in the background.

My Mom took these photos and didn’t get them developed until 1970.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Perfume Patrol

Recently we had a “perfume encounter”…it was bad.  We moved Far Guy as far away as we could from the airspace.  He was still sick for more than 24 hours, he said he felt like his lungs were burned.  Me… I just got a migraine headache…no fun but when we go out we have to put up with second hand perfume and the consequences.

This lady obviously blew out what ever olfactory cells she had left and then spritzed on more perfume.   How can people not know they smell horrid.  Do they do it to be younger, sexier or what?

Perfume sucks.  I don’t care if it is in your hand lotion or your bug spray…your shampoo or body wash…Good Lord you make life miserable for some people. For those of you who wear perfume…you smell bad…couldn’t you just take a regular bath instead of a perfume bath? 

I am tempted to make up cards that say “Your perfume stinks and so do you.”   How about a flag that I can wave that says Perfume Patrol and just bop the stinky numbskulls on the head….I would probably end up in jail.  How about we carry gas masks with us every place we go and pop them on when smelly people arrive.

We are held captive most of the winter, enclosed spaces with a cornucopia of perfumey women and after shavey men are just to much for Far Guy.  Now that spring is here we would really like to go more places.

We can go to garage sales…and open air spaces…because we can move away from perfumey people.  Church is really really difficult. They should have outside seating or maybe a drive up church service.

Did you know that perfume companies don’t have to list their “secret” ingredients?  Like vomit of sperm whales…oh and musk…do you know that comes from the glands of a male musk deer..and how about some feces from civet cats?  Perhaps cut with a few dirty diapers. 

Sure, I have heard it said “I only wear a little perfume.”  Try no perfume for ten days, I don’t think you will go through withdrawal.  Some say oh it must be my hand lotion…well try some coconut oil instead of that shit you rub on your hands.  Got questions?  Stop by my house and I will give you my honest opinion of your perfume…outside.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Soldiers/Decoration Day

My Dad was in Korea, in fact he was there when I was born.  He found out about me through a Red Cross Telegram.


My Dad and my Mom  in 1950.

Dad was injured by shrapnel and he has photos taken in Korea that substantiates his injury.  All the records burned in St. Louis so he never received his Purple Heart.  I won’t say he came back unscathed, because he has nightmares often especially in the winter.  From what I have heard he didn’t even have an extra pair of socks or winter clothing yet was sleeping in foxholes in sub zero weather.  He survived conditions that are unimaginable to me.  Dad is 88 years old.


These are my father’s brothers, my uncles;Uncle Hugo

Uncle Hugo was wounded, sent back to the States, endured surgeries and therapy and lived out his days with bullet fragments in his body.

Uncle Hugo

Uncle Hugo and Mia never had any children together.  Mia had children from a former marriage.  They had a Grandson that they raised as their son.  I take flowers here because no one else does…and because I held his hand many days up in the VA Hospital before he died.  He died of Prostate Cancer.IM_A0160

Uncle Andrew

Uncle Andrew

Uncle Andrews marker

I had not been to Uncle Andrew’s grave in a few years.  Two of his children are dead now…there are a few children left but I wonder if they visit…perhaps a granddaughter visits.  She would have been the apple of his eye.  He was a wonderful man, I still miss him…he lived with us when I was little.  He died of Bone Cancer and Lung Cancer.

Arnold in Havana Nice aint it he wrote on the back

Uncle Arnold in Havana Cuba

Uncle Arnold

My Aunt Sharon is still alive and she will take flowers there. Uncle Arnold was another wonderful Uncle taken from us too soon by a swift heart attack in the night time.  He died in the house where he was born.

Arthur Yliniemi 1943

Uncle Arthur


Died in the Invasion of Italy in 1944.


On a personal note I want to thank my husband for the 26 years he spent in the service.  My baby brother for the time he served in the Navy and my nephew Ben who is currently serving.

Years ago Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

World War II Casualty

I am certain that my Grandmother’s heart was broken when her sixth son Arthur E. was killed during the invasion of Italy.  He died May 20 1944.  He is buried in The American  Sicily-Rome Cemetery in Nettuno Italy.  He was 23 years old when he died.

Arthur E Yliniemi died May 20 1944

Arthur E. Yliniemi

My Paternal Grandmother is  a Gold Star Mother.


This Gold Star Mother marker was not in place the last time I visited this cemetery two years ago.

There were letters.  Letters that Arthur wrote home.  They seem to have disappeared, I tried to watch for them the day of my Aunt’s auction sale…I hope they were not thrown away.  I never understood her reluctance to share them… but some relatives share their photos and mementos easily…and others do not.

My Grandmother would see  five of her twelve sons go off to war.   All would return but one.   I cannot imagine her sadness that Arthur was buried so far away. 

I have a whole file of research on Arthur E.  I tried to follow the troop movements and read first hand accounts of soldiers in the vicinity.  I guess it doesn’t matter, he had no children…no one to pass on his story or his letters.


There are 10,484 soldiers buried at The American Sicily-Rome Cemetery in Italy.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

In the pink

Here is my glass hoarding collection area.   All this glass was bought at garage sales or given to me by friends!

Garden Art supplies

Far Guy gave me an area in his greenhouse/woodshop where I can spread “stuff” out and decide what goes where. 

I wanted to make a few glass towers. 

Pink art

I made this one and gave it to Jen…that is one of her creations on the left.

It is a fun way to use chipped glassware.  It gives me something to search for at garage sales.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

From 3 to 16 just like that

I wonder when it happened.  It seems like just yesterday he was a baby.  Then he grew and grew.  He was a quiet child I didn’t think he would ever talk.   He would sit for hours and open and shut the screen door in the retail part of the greenhouse… it was something he could do all by himself…no assistance needed…we kept saying “Noah watch out for your fingers.”  Then when he was about two he noticed his Grandfather and his Daddy on the roof..and guess what?  There was a ladder…his Mom ran pretty fast that day.

One weekend his parents left him with us and went someplace…not sure where.  His Mom missed him so much she began to cry and they showed up in the middle of the night.

It seemed like all he would eat was mac and cheese and hotdogs…and Mandarin Oranges.Noah 2002 he was three

Here he is riding the motorcycle kid ride at the fair.  This was 2002 he was three.

He grew and their last house we kept track and I would make growth marks on the pantry door.  Now I would need a ladder to make a mark.

I have to remind his parents to measure him now. Six feet what?

The whole cake slid forward

A moment before I took this photo his Mother told him to tilt the cake a little and it nearly slid off the tray!


He has plans for the summer.  He had a goal and he has achieved it.  He has an interest in Medicine possibly to become a Doctor.  So what would a 15 year old do in preparation for his 16th birthday?  Can you guess?

The cake

We sang Happy Birthday!

The candles are out!

I hope all his wishes come true!

Well what did you guess?

If you guessed that he would take the Certified Nursing Assistant Class, pass the exam and gain employment for the summer in a Nursing Facility you would be correct.  He is excited to begin this new adventure!

We are very proud of him! 

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Big Fight

One day we went to a garage sale back in the boonies.  A gentleman was in charge, they weren’t real organized.  Nothing was marked I suppose if you drove a fancy car they charged more or perhaps they were lazy garage salers.  There was a sign that said most things 25 to 50 cents.  Well ok. 

I kept asking him the price of “stuff.”   There were two hat boxes, he said they are 50 cents each.   I told him fine I will take them.   I kept piling stuff on his table…THEN…his wife came out… UFFDA.

She wanted more for her “stuff” she was angry that he quoted the wrong prices…loudly she said “I told you I wanted more for those hat boxes.”  He shook his head and said “I already told her a price.”  She got very angry… God forbid that someone stroke out over hat boxes.   I said “Forget the boxes.”  She grabbed them off the table and marched them back to the shelf. 

You could tell the gentleman was embarrassed…but I just wanted to avoid a knock-down drag-out fight or WW3.   I am certain she gave him the “what for” after we left.  I felt kinda sorry for him.  Far Guy said “She is a piece of work.” Bird houses

I found this little Homes For Sale sign there…a perfect replacement for the Easter Bunny that has been on this wreath since before Easter.  It was 25 cents.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wistful Wednesday: Auntie Kathy

I have known my cousin Arthur since I was born.  I met Kathy when he started to date her.  Far Guy knew Kathy because she was a “town kid.”  Her parents owned the best little restaurant on main street in Park Rapids called Wimpy's.  Art and Kathy were married in 1969 three months before Far Guy and I. 

Kathy wanted her ears pierced…being frugal…she decided that I should do it for her.  After a few beers she put ice on both sides of her ear lobes.  I threaded a needle with dental floss and pushed it through her ear…on the other side I pulled out the needle with a pliers and drew the dental floss through.  She soaked the dental floss in alcohol several times a day and kept pulling it through her ear lobe…after about a week we put in earrings.  This was during the winter of 1970. 

Debra was born in 1971….we became Auntie Connie and Uncle Gene.  A second daughter DJ died sometime in utero in 1974 or thereabouts.

When our girls were born they had an honorary Uncle Arthur and Auntie Kathy.

They moved, we moved.  We saw them at family reunions weddings and funerals.  Later they would buy a weekend lake place in preparation for retirement.  They retired and then we retired and lived just a few miles away.

My beautiful picture

Auntie Kathy and Uncle Arthur…he wanted to kiss everyone…this was the day Debra was married.

Debra and her Mom

Debra and her Mom  October 1993.

Years and years would pass Auntie Kathy and Uncle Art never thought they would be grandparents…but finally they were!  Three times over!  They were so excited!! They loved our grands and having grands of their own was really special!

Thirty Two Days… April 16 Uncle Art called and asked us to stop by.  We did.   Art said “Kathy has cancer.”  She was in terrible pain. I gave her a hug and encouragement that Doctors can do so much with cancer nowadays.  I also told her “What is the worst thing that can happen?  You will die and go to heaven and be out of pain.” She said “Yes no pain would be a good thing.”  The doctors didn’t know where the cancer originated, they did many tests.  Lung, Liver and Bone Cancer.  She endured radiation treatments. Then the first round of chemo on May 7.  She entered the hospital on May 11.  We visited her several times, she was in unbelievable pain. Mostly she was unconscious…I irritated her one day and asked her if she was going to wake up…she told me to “shut up.” Far Guy told her to sit up and slap me….but she didn’t.  She died May 18. It snowed off and on the day she died. I am certain she is having a big old party up there in heaven complete with the most beautiful flowers you can imagine.My beautiful picture

Goodbye Auntie Kathy.  I am sad for you husband, daughter, son in law and your beautiful grands.  But I am glad you are no longer in pain.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gene’s gene

WELL.  Three weeks ago whilst were were sitting in the Pulmonary Specialist’s examination room waiting we read a pamphlet…you know the kind bright purple in a box…fine reading material…about some deficiency you have never heard of.  The Doctor entered the room and noticed we had the pamphlet out….she asked “Do you want to be tested?  I have never had anyone test positive.” We replied “Sure why not?”

The results came last Friday, the print was too small to read in the online test records. The Doctor called yesterday morning.  Yes she said, you have it…a Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

Simply as if “gene”  “stuff” is ever simple. It is hereditary.  Your liver produces and sends out a substance that protects your lungs and liver from infections.  If your “gene” is messed up then you have no protection…enzymes produced normally in the liver can run wild through your bloodstream attacking your lungs and liver.

Anyways… Far Guy will be getting weekly IV Infusions for the rest of his life.  The deficiency can be treated, he won’t get better…but the progression of his lung disease should be slowed down. 

The other things recommended are to keep exercising, eat healthy, stay away from germy people and out of smoke, dust, fumes and smells ( perfumes, aftershave, essential oils) that may irritate your lungs.

We are a bit bummed out that someone didn’t think this might be a possibility before now.   The a$$ whole Doctors that used to say “We don’t just give out antibiotics for anything.” or “You will get better after a few more weeks, these colds have to run their course”    I have to remind myself that they are still just practicing medicine.

1% to 3 % of people have a Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (A1AT).  Coupled with his Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) 1 person out of 15,000…Far Guy  is really special.  I told him to buy a lottery ticket.

Bottom line is this, if you or someone you love is diagnosed with Emphysema they should be tested for the deficiency…as with anything else IF they catch it early it can be treated before huge irreparable damage has occurred. 

We have heard through the grapevine that Infusions are $8,000 to 20,000 a month.  I guess we will find out how good our insurance and Medicare are.

 Old Desoto 1953

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Monday, May 18, 2015


We had a pair of Brown-Headed Cowbirds stop by.  First the male came in and checked things out…then the female showed up. 

Brown Headed Cowbird a male

The male Brown-Headed Cowbird.

Brown-Headeded Cowbird female

The female Brown-Headed Cowbird.

I have Irridescent feathers

Here you can see that the male has  some iridescent feathers.

Basic Bown Female Cowbird

The female is just a basic brown…no sparkly feathers for her.  The bird books calls her color gray.

Brown Headed Cowbirds

The pair.

This is the first year I can recall that they have stopped by.  They have been here two days eating suet off the ground that the huge Crow slops all over with his big beak.  If Chance is outside he chases the Crow out of the yard.

The first Chippy ( Chipmunk) showed up on Sunday.  He is living on borrowed time because a certain Border Collie who will remain nameless will herd them aggressively.  Perhaps they die of fright before they succumb to the bite wounds …either way dead is dead.

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